Sergeant Alan Lisonbee
Inmate programs in the jail are a critical element in accomplishing the mission of the facility, which includes a philosophy of providing for the reintegration of inmates into society. These programs include computer labs for self paced learning in the full range of classes leading to a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally there is an aggressive partnership between the jail and Nebo School District for the assignment of a high school teacher to teach in-house courses for inmates in the jail. Special emphasis is on adult literacy, GED, substance abuse counseling, religious services, library services, and recreation.
What is important for the public to know about programs offered to the inmates while they are incarcerated in the Utah County Jail, is that these programs are provided at no cost to the public. Money is generated from the “inmate telephone systems” and the inmates are paying for the programs offered to them while they are incarcerated. We have 7 part time employees and over 90 volunteers. Specific programs for the inmates, with a short description, are listed below:
1. GED / High School Diploma
The jail staff works for Nebo School District. This class is offered to those who have not completed their High School Diploma it gives them an opportunity to receive a GED Certificate. Inmates are to submit a request, after which they will be tested and then a course curriculum developed to assist them in passing their GED Testing. Class sessions are held Monday - Friday from 0900 hours to 1600 hours. Inmates will earn good time based on the recommendation of the class instructor for positive improvement and/or 5 days good time for passing the GED Test.
To obtain a copy of your GED certificate or test results, please contact Utah Valley University Testing Center at 801- 863-8140.
2. Life Skills (Improving Relationships)
The life skills instructors are part time employees. The course is a 15 hour course and takes approximately 3 weeks to complete. The course material includes Communication Skills, Anger Recognition and Management, Parenting Skills, and Marriage Relationship Skills. We offer the class in four housing units a month, on a rotating basis. Completion of this course will earn 5 days good time.
3. Life Skills (Why Try?)
The life skills instructors are part time employees. The course is a 15 hour course and takes approximately 3 weeks to complete. During this class, harmful ideas, beliefs and behaviors that keep one from achieving goals, and developing good relationships with others are discussed. The focus in class is to teach how to succeed in life, even when you feel frustrated, confused, or angry with life’s pressures and challenges. Completion of this course will earn 5 days good time.
4. Life Skills (Bridges)
These instructors are all volunteers. The course is a 12 hour course and takes approximately 3 weeks to complete. During this class, mood disorders (stress, anxiety, depression, etc), bi-polar disorders, thought disorders (i.e. paranoia), schizophrenia, relapse prevention, recovery, helpful support, medication and the brain, problem management, and communication skills are discussed. The focus in class is to recognize forms of mental illness and to teach how to succeed in life, even though you may feel frustrated, confused, or angry with life’s situations. Completion of this course will earn 5 days good time.
5. Life Skills (Living @ 5)
The instructor that teaches this course is a part time employee. He is a certified instructor of the Franklin Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The course is approximately a 15 hour course and takes about 3 weeks to complete. The Living @ 5 course is divided into two sections. The first section teaches powerful principles regarding thinking processes. Seven principles are integrated into a model that instructs students how to recognize where their thoughts are focused in time–the past, the present or the future. Students are taught to recognize that feelings of shame, guilt, regret, and revenge come from too much thinking in the past. Feelings of fear, anxiety, and dismay come from too much thinking in the future. Students are taught that power to change their lives exists only in the present moment. "If Not Now-When?", the course motto, suggests that the time to change is NOW. The second section of the course presents Habits 1, 2, 3 & 7 of the popular course from Franklin Covey Company, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The habits that are taught lead a person to replace reactive and victim-based behaviors with proactive behaviors. Personal Mission Statements are drafted, priorities set, and short and long-term goals created. Completion of this course will earn 5 days good time.
6. Alcoholic Anonymous
The Alcoholic Anonymous are volunteers. They will meet with interested inmates once a week in a group setting.
7. LDS 12 Step Drug Rehab Program
The instructors are volunteers from the LDS Church. They will meet with interested inmates once a week in a group setting. The course is structured around values held by the LDS faith.
8. On Unit Drug Treatment (OUT) Program
The instructors are employed by the County Health Department. They meet with selected inmates 5 hours a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. During this course they discuss how they became the way they are, how to change, how to prevent relapse and a have continual growth process. The program is offered to both male and females inmates in the jail. The inmates must request the program, and the selection process is based on the charges, inmate’s classification, behavior, and desire. This course will last for three months.
9. RadKids Program
The instructors are part time employees. The course is taught to parents who are in the jail, whose family is enrolled in the class in the community. It’s a program designed to discuss the prevention of violence and personal safety for victims.
10. Discharge Plan
The instructor meets with as many inmates as she can a week before they are discharged from the Jail. As she meets with the inmates she reviews with the inmates a plan of action upon their release from jail. Critical needs of the inmates are discussed: housing, food, counseling and employment opportunities. Utah County resources and services are also discussed with the inmates.
11. Utah Defendant Offender Workforce Development
The Utah Offender Workforce Development (UDOWD) program at the Utah County Sheriff's Office is part of a nationwide effort to reduce recidivism using best practices.
The UDOWD Task Force is a collaborative effort of federal, state, and local law enforcement working with Workforce Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, religious and business interests.
Offenders have many important transitions in life and during their time in jail. Before they transition from the main jail into Jail Industries Program those who choose to participate in UDOWD attend an orientation. During this orientation they complete various assessments to better understand how their vocational choices impact their life. During a follow-up interview the offender takes a Work Values assessment to help them find the career choices that are or may be a good fit for them while in jail and upon release.
The offenders who participate in the program and classes learn pro-social skills that will help them transition back into society. They learn how career development and proper vocational choices can lead to job satisfaction and successful reintegration back into the community.
Deputy Greg Jarvis is in charge of the program and is a certified instructor. For more information, please contact Deputy Jarvis at GregJ@utahcounty.gov.
Other services provided to the inmates through discharge planning include educational opportunities and financial assistance, vocational rehabilitation opportunities, Community Action, Turning Point, Utah National Guard, Apprenticeship Training, Department of Work Force Services, Gathering Place, temporary staffing services, Food and Care Coalition, and District Adult Education Departments. The inmates are provided with telephone numbers and a map of the area that identifies where these agencies are located.